There are lots of things you can say about writing and speaking a language, and every once in a while you come across some hilarious bloopers. Here are a few stories.
Differences in the English language
British-English and American-English are pronounced very differently, but that’s not the only thing. Various British expressions won’t be easily understood by the American public. Such as the expression “As mad as a hatter”; this refers to the hatmakers in Victorian England, who suffered from brain damage due to the mercury they used for their work. They went mad, literally. In Alice in Wonderland there’s a nice reminder of this in the person of The Mad Hatter, who talks a lot of nonsense.
The Brits also write in a different way, a bit more formal than the Americans, and the construction of their sentences may vary as well.
With regard to spelling, there are quite a few minor differences. The letters ‘ou’, for instance: ‘colour, flavour, neighbour’ are common in British-English, whereas the spelling in American is ‘color, flavor, neighbor’. Or ‘er’: ‘centre’ and ‘fibre’ in England, but in the USA it’s ‘center’ and ‘fiber’. And there are lots of other variations. It’s good to keep in mind which spelling you want to use, in case you want to write or translate a text.
A nice example of the way the subtitles can get it horribly wrong in films on DVD, is the James Bond film ‘Casino Royale’ (with Daniel Craig): Bond breaks into the apartment of his boss, M, and she tells him “You’ve got a bloody cheek!”. In one of the DVD versions of this film, the Dutch subtitles translated this as “You’ve got blood on your cheek”; clearly, the meaning that Bond was a cheeky guy had been misunderstood.